GREENWOOD, IN – The HCAC men’s and women’s cross country championships will take place Saturday, November 2 at the Defiance College Cross Country Course in Defiance, Ohio. The first race, which begins at 12 PM, will mark the first time since 2004 the conference meet was held at Defiance.
Manchester will look to claim the school’s fifth straight men’s and women’s conference championship at the event. Rose-Hulman and Franklin try to challenge the Spartans on the men’s side this weekend, while Hanover and Franklin look to contend in the women’s race.
The Spartans have been led by two different individuals this season. Curtis Nordmann (Bourbon, Ind.) claimed a tenth place finish at the Calvin Invitational with an 8K time of 25:21.7. Jon Caffarelli (Lansing, Ill.) led the black and gold twice this season, highlighted by an eighth place finish at the NCAA Pre-National Meet (25:59.26).
Manchester has fared well against conference competition this season. MU has been the highest placing HCAC school at each meet they have competed in, including a third place finish at the Indiana Intercollegiate. The black and gold currently stand sixth in the Great Lakes Region in a poll released by USTFCCCA.
Rose-Hulman will strive to claim the top spot as conference champs this weekend. The Engineers have been paced by Stuart West (LaPorte, Ind.) this season. The junior has led Rose twice this fall, posting a season-best time at the Wilmington Invitational with a mark of 25:55.86. West also led the Engineers at the NCAA Pre-Regional Meet, placing 36th with a time of 27:04.69.
Franklin’s Kris Sandlin (Scottsburg, Ind.) has been running well this season for the Grizzlies as the blue and gold look to claim their first title since 2008. The defending HCAC champion finished first overall at the Greater Louisville Classic with a time of 25:29.62, while placing second at the Hanover Invitational (25:41.50) and the Indiana Intercollegiate meet (25:36.75). Sandlin was a four-time HCAC Runner of the Week this fall.
The Manchester women enter Saturday’s championship as the favorite to repeat. The Spartans fared well against conference competition this season, leading the conference field at the Indiana Intercollegiate and NCAA Pre-National meets.
Manchester has been paced by freshman Mariah Jordan (Ft. Wayne, Ind.) for much of the fall. Jordan was the top Manchester finisher at Calvin and the NCAA Pre-National Meet, placing 32nd (18:59.8, 5K) and 40th (23:52.92, 6K) respectively.
Franklin’s Hillary Cain (Rushville, Ind.) has been solid this fall, earning the conference’s Runner of the Week award twice. The two-time defending HCAC champion, finished third at the Franklin Invitational and eighth at the Indiana Intercollegiate meet. Cain’s best time of the fall was at Wilmington, placing 25th with a time of 19:10.84.
Hanover’s Claire Hinshaw (New Castle, Ind.) has paced the Panthers in every race she has competed in this season. The junior placed third at the Asbury Invitational with a 5K time of 21:05.9 and finished ninth overall at the Hanover Invitational (20:05.3).
Rose-Hulman’s Ryann-Rebecca Montgomery (Lafayette, La.) will look to challenge for the individual title this weekend. The senior finished second overall at the Wilmington Invitational on October 18, setting a new school record with a 5K time of 18:34 to finish second among 397 runners..
The top 12 finishers on the men’s and women’s side will be named All-HCAC, while the top freshman finisher will be named Freshman of the Year. Individuals who finish 13th through 20th at the conference meet will be named honorable mention All-HCAC.
The women will compete on a 6K course Saturday while the men will run the 8K course. Action will get underway from Defiance College with the women’s race at 12:00 PM followed by the men’s race at 1:00 PM.
Awards will be presented at the finish line at about 2:00 PM. Spectator parking will be available near the Defiance football and baseball facilities.